Ferrari confirm Leclerc as Raikkonen replacement

Ferrari has confirmed Charles Leclerc will be Sebastian Vettel’s new Scuderia team-mate from the 2019 season.

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The Scuderia initially released a statement to the press confirming Kimi Raikkonen would be leaving the team at the end of the 2018 campaign, ending months of speculation about who would complete Ferrari’s line-up in 2019.

Sandwiched in between the two Ferrari announcements was a statement from Sauber, who confirmed Raikkonen would be rejoining the team on a two-year deal from next season.

Then, to complete the worst-kept secret in Formula 1, Ferrari published a short statement to confirm the arrival of Leclerc and complete a meteoric rise for the 20-year-old, still in his rookie Formula 1 season.

“Scuderia Ferrari announces that in the next Formula One racing season, Charles Leclerc will drive for the Team alongside Sebastian Vettel,” said team principal Maurizio Arrivabene.

Leclerc has been one of most impressive drivers throughout the 2018 season and his promotion to Ferrari is reward for a fantastic first campaign which has seen him post five points finishes and regular appearances in Q3.

Leclerc then took to social media to express his delight at landing the coveted Ferrari gig

“Dreams do come true… I’ll be driving for @scuderiaferrari for the 2019 Formula 1 World Championship,” he wrote. “I will be eternally grateful to @scuderiaferrari for the opportunity given.

“To @nicolastodt for supporting me since 2011. To my family❤️. To a person that is not part of this world anymore but to whom I owe everything of what is happening to me, Papa. To Jules, thank you for all the things you learnt me, we will never forget you, and to all the persons that supported me and believed in me.

“I will work harder than ever to not disappoint you.

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